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CoM’s Totally Unbiased Review of Windows 7: Debasing Myself So You Don’t Have To

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The first question that should leap to mind is: “Why on earth is CoM reviewing Windows?” Frankly, for many professionals, we have no choice. Many of us have to use Windows software in the course of our jobs, or at a minimum use web applications that require that bane to open standards developers everywhere: Internet Explorer.

There’s no easy way to do this, so lets just rip off the band-aid and see if there’s a scab underneath.

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Sun VirtualBox Makes Virtualization on Mac Free

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Months ago, I wrote about my wrestling match to get the 64-Bit Windows 7 Public Beta installed on my MacBook. It took all day, and then, well, I had a copy of Windows on my computer that required a reboot to access. It was, as it turns out, every bit as pointless as many commenters accused my activity of being. I deleted my partition and never really gave it a second thought — even though I could use a Windows install to debug stuff for work.

Until today, that is, when Sun blogger The Fat Bloke provided detailed instructions for installing the most recent revision of the WIndows 7 Release Candidate on VirtualBox, the company’s totally free virtualization system. And I have to say, it works like a charm. I was up and running within about two hours, and I didn’t even need to follow the secondary instructions about Vista mode or whatever. If you’re curious at all, it’s absolutely the best way to get a Windows installation on your Mac for free.

Whether it’s useful remains to be seen. I might find myself deleting this next Sunday.

The New Leader in the “Busy Mac” Contest

The New Leader in the “Busy Mac” Contest

Cult reader James moves to the head of the pack in the incredible contest to see how many apps can be running on your Mac and displayed on your desktop in all their juicy, chaotic goodness by Exposé.

James’ machine is Mac Pro 8 core, with 10GB RAM, 30’ NEC 3090 monitor, and 2 1TB Samsung drives raided together. He has a lot of high end apps running, including all of Final Cut Studio, all of Adobe Creative Suite CS 3 Design Premium, all of Office 2008, all of iWork 08, Google Earth, Windows XP and Crunch Bang Linux in virtual box , Sling Player, Filemaker xcode and mmaannyyy more.

“I got to the point where it started giving an error code and would not launch any more apps,” he told us. “When I tried to screen shot it refused, so I had to quit an app before I could make a screen shot.”

Click on the image to see the original size and find he’s also got Open Office, Think Free Office, Eclipse IDE, a 22 mega pixel image from a Canon 5K Mark II (the ship), Proxi, Sketch Up, Sketch Book education, Skype, Gizmo, Gridiron Flow beta, eBay desktop, Acquisition, Adium, Firefox, Safari, iPhone Simulator…

He thinks there are about 240 apps running in all, but says, “I reckon the Pro could take another 100 if the OS would allow it — maybe snow leopard.”

Follow afer the jump for screen shots of James’ Activity Monitor.

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HOWTO: Windows 7 on Unibody MacBook Takes All Afternoon

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Having read a few of the tutorials on how to install the new Windows 7 beta on a Mac with Boot Camp, I decided to take the plunge myself today on my still sparkling-new unibody MacBook 2.4 Ghz. (This post is actually being written in Firefox on Windows 7 — eww)

And what I learned is that you had really better be prepared to spend several hours to get it working properly. The link I’ve provided above is pretty handy, but it has some tricks to it that will not be immediately apparent without some trial and error. Read on to make the essential tweaks to the tutorial needed to make it work on MacBooks, not just MacBook Pros, read on!

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State of the 1984 Art: Bill Gates Raves About the Mac

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Once upon a time, way back in 1984, the Mac was new. Let us travel back to the past for another look into the amazing first issue of MacWorld, which I acquired two weeks ago at a family reunion.

This week, let’s turn to “Polishing the Mac,” an extraordinarily long interview by David Bunnell (almost 4,000 words) with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates that is basically just about the Mac’s greatness. I’ll tease with a choice quote, then click through for some more of Chairman Bill’s still-prescient (and now hilarious and ironic) praise for the Mac. Also, dig the hair and glasses. Could he look more like his Anthony Michael Hall doppelganger if he tried?

On the Mac’s Ease of Use: “The Mac heralds a major change in how people view and interact with application programs. That’s why I’m so excited about it. There’s no question that I’ll let my mom try it out.”

Much, much more after the jump.

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First Blue Screen of Death on a Mac

Blue Screen of Death

On the DealCatcher forums, Dan Baxter writes: “So I decided to install the new Apple Boot Camp Beta to dual boot Windows XP on my Mac. Everything went great then I got this after using it for about an 30 mins.”

And here’s another one:

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Vista on a MacBook Pro

Vista on a MacBook Pro

There was some debate a few weeks ago whether Intel Macs would boot Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, Vista, because of conflicting boot-up systems. While the Intel Macs use EFI, a new boot system from Intel, initial versions of Windows Vista will use the old BIOS system.

Well, in the comments to the blog post below, reader RLPM posted a link to a Flickr photoset showing his MacBook Pro booting off a Vista disk image, thanks to Apple’s new Boot Camp software.

RLPM says he didn’t try a full install because he hasn’t backed up his MacBook, and presumably doesn’t want a disk error to wipe everything out.

He writes: “After installing the firmware update and boot camp (didn’t run boot camp assistant), it booted off the most recent Vista. I haven’t had time to backup my system, so I didn’t install vista, but it boots from the latest image!”

So I guess Apple’s Boot Camp software makes the whole BIOS/EFI firmware issue moot?

Windows on a Mac

Slashdot commentator on Windows on a Mac:

“We’ve figured out how to put an inferior OS on more expensive hardware! That way, we can have both the frustrations of Windows and pay out of the ass for Mac. Everybody wins!”

And here’s Joy of Tech’s take. Click the pic for the entire cartoon.

Joy of Tech

It reminds me of my experience of installing Linux on a Mac a few years ago — which was, “great, now what?”

Another Slashdot poster has a good point about Windows-running Macs being attractive to businesses — they won’t:

“First, dual boot is a myth, it is damn annoying and so counterproductive. Most people dont realise that until they actually experiment it, it’s hype now, but all Linux users know it’s a pain, and I know from experience that a dual boot Windows/Linux means one thing… Windows 90% of the time. Vmware and others solutions are the way to go for people who need Windows professionaly for a given application, I can’t wait for a Mac OS X version. Second, some people try to makes us believe that companies will buy Apple PC to their employees now that they can run Windows, yeah right, serious manager will buy more expensive hardware, plus a Windows licence, so that their employees can have an Apple design and the joy of using Mac OS X out of the office… “